Ina Opperman

By Ina Opperman

Business Journalist

How to increase fuel efficiency when fuel prices rise in September

While higher fuel prices will be another knock for punch drunk consumers, the best we can do is to make sure our cars use fuel efficiently.

With another fuel price increase expected in September, it’s important to know how to increase your car’s fuel efficiency.

The price of petrol is expected increase by up to R1.45 per litre and diesel by up to R2.60 per litre.

As September approaches, the convergence of oil prices and the rand/dollar exchange rate become very important in shaping local fuel prices and with both factors aligned against motorists, next month threatens to bring about heightened challenges at the fuel pumps.

ALSO READ: September fuel price: Major hike for petrol and diesel could be even worse…

Tips to optimise fuel consumption

These tips from WesBank will help you in your quest to optimise fuel consumption and mitigate the impact of escalating fuel expenses. If your car runs more efficiently, you can at least save a bit at the pumps.

  • Drive smoothly: Avoid aggressive driving habits such as rapid acceleration, speeding and hard braking. Smooth driving not only improves fuel efficiency but also extends the life of brakes, and tyres and reduces long-term maintenance.
  • Safer driving: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. By looking closely at what pedestrians and other cars are doing and anticipating what might happen next, you can keep your speed as steady as possible and use less fuel. It is also safer to drive this way.
  • Avoid stop-start driving: Maintain momentum by planning ahead and flowing with traffic to minimise unnecessary braking.
  • Slow down: Maintain a constant speed and avoid excessive speeding. Driving at slightly lower speeds can improve fuel efficiency.
  • Reduce the load: Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle because less weight means less energy required for acceleration.
  • Optimise air conditioning: Use air conditioning in your car sparingly at low speeds and consider rolling down the windows instead, providing it is safe to do so. At higher speeds (80 km/h or higher), using air conditioning is more fuel-efficient than open windows due to reduced wind resistance.
  • Plan your trips ahead: Use navigation apps to find the most efficient routes and avoid traffic to reduce fuel consumption. Listen to traffic reports and try to avoid roads with too many traffic lights and intersections where possible.
  • Check the wheel alignment and maintain the tyre pressure: Ensure proper wheel alignment to reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency. Check and maintain the correct tyre pressure to improve fuel economy and vehicle performance.
  • Regular service and maintenance: Regularly have your car serviced to ensure it operates efficiently and consumes less fuel.
  • Fuel reward programmes: Fuel reward programmes play a vital role in assisting cash-strapped motorists by providing much-needed relief at the pump. In these challenging economic times, where fuel prices can be a significant financial burden, these programmes offer valuable savings and benefits, making it easier for vehicle owners to keep their vehicles running and maintain their mobility without excessive financial strain.

“While increases in fuel prices may be beyond our control, we are committed to equipping motorists with the knowledge and tools to navigate these challenges. By embracing these actionable steps, individuals can proactively take charge of their fuel consumption, lessening the impact of fuel price hikes on their wallets and contributing to a more sustainable driving future,” says Lebogang Gaoaketse, WesBank head of marketing and communication.

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